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Learn how to – Deploy k0s Kubernetes on Rocky Linux 9 using k0sctl

Learn how to – Deploy k0s Kubernetes on Rocky Linux 9 using k0sctl.

In recent years, the popularity of Kubernetes and its ecosystem has immensely increased due to its ability to its behavior, ability to design patterns, and workload types. Kubernetes also known as k8s, is an open-source software used to orchestrate system deployments, scale, and manage containerized applications across a server farm. This is achieved by distributing the workload across a cluster of servers. Furthermore, it works continuously to maintain the desired state of container applications, allocating storage and persistent volumes e.t.c.

The cluster of servers in Kubernetes has two types of nodes:

  • Control plane: it is used to make the decision about the cluster(includes scheduling e.t.c) and also to detect and respond to cluster events such as starting up a new pod. It consists of several other components such as:
    • kube-apiserver: it is used to expose the Kubernetes API
    • etcd: it stores the cluster data
    • kube-scheduler: it watches for the newly created Pods with no assigned node, and selects a node for them to run on.
  • Worker nodes: they are used to run the containerized workloads. They host the pods that er the basic components of an application. A cluster must consist of at least one worker node.

The smallest deployable unit in Kubernetes is known as a pods. A pod may be made up of one or many containers, each with its own configurations.

There are 3 different resources provided when deploying pods in Kubernetes:

  • Deployments: this is the most used and easiest resource to deploy. They are usually used for stateless applications. However, the application can be made stateful by attaching a persistent volume to it.
  • StatefulSets: this resource is used to manage the deployment and scale a set of Pods. It provides the guarantee about ordering and uniqueness of these Pods.
  • DaemonSets: it ensures all the pod runs on all the nodes of the cluster. In case a node is added/removed from the cluster, DaemonSet automatically adds or removes the pod.

There are several methods to deploy a Kubernetes Cluster on Linux. This includes using tools such as MinikubeKubeadm, Kubernetes on AWS (Kube-AWS), Amazon EKS e.t.c. In this guide, we will learn how to deploy a k0s Kubernetes Cluster on Rocky Linux 9 using k0sctl

What is k0s?

K0s is an open-source, simple, solid, and certified Kubernetes distribution that can be deployed on any infrastructure. It offers the simplest way with all the features required to set up a Kubernetes cluster. Due to its design and flexibility, it can be used on bare metal, cloud, Edge and IoT.

K0s exists as a single binary with no dependencies aside from the host OS kernel required. This reduces the complexity and time involved when setting up a Kubernetes cluster.

The other features associated with k0s are:

  • It is certified and 100% upstream Kubernetes
  • It has multiple installation methods such as single-node, multi-node, airgap and Docker.
  • It offers automatic lifecycle management with k0sctl where you can upgrade, backup and restore.
  • Flexible deployment options with control plane isolation as default
  • It offers scalability from a single node to large, high-available clusters.
  • Supports a variety of datastore backends. etcd is the default for multi-node clusters, SQLite for single node clusters, MySQL, and PostgreSQL can be used as well.
  • Supports x86-64, ARM64 and ARMv7
  • It Includes Konnectivity service, CoreDNS and Metrics Server
  • Minimum CPU requirements (1 vCPU, 1 GB RAM)

k0sctl is a command-line tool used for bootstrapping and managing k0s clusters. Normally, it connects to the hosts using SSH and collects information about them. The information gathered is then used to create a cluster by configuring the hosts, deploying k0s, and then connecting them together.

The below image can be used to demonstrate how k0sctl works

Using k0sctl is the recommended way to create a k0s cluster for production. Since you can create multi-node clusters in an easy and automatic manner.

Now let’s dive in!

Environment Setup

For this guide, we will have the 4 Rocky Linux 9 servers configured as shown:

Role Hostname IP Address
Workspace workspace
Control plane master.ownyourlife.com.ng
Worker Node worker1.ownyourlife.com.ng
Worker Node worker2.ownyourlife.com.ng

The other Rocky Linux 9 server is my working space on which I will install k0sctl and run the cluster on the above nodes

Once the hostnames have been set, edit /etc/hosts on the Workspace as shown:

$ sudo vi /etc/hosts  master.ownyourlife.com.ng master  worker1.ownyourlife.com.ng worker1  worker2.ownyourlife.com.ng worker2

Since k0sctl uses SSH to access the hosts, we will generate SSH keys on the Workspace as shown:

$ ssh-keygen
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/rocky9/.ssh/id_rsa): 
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in /home/rocky9/.ssh/id_rsa
Your public key has been saved in /home/rocky9/.ssh/id_rsa.pub
The key fingerprint is:
SHA256:wk0LRhNDWM1PA2pm9RZ1EDFdx9ZXvhh4PB99mrJypeU rocky9@workspace
The key's randomart image is:
+---[RSA 3072]----+
|     +B+o...*=.o*|
|    .. =o.o.oo..B|
|      B .ooo = o=|
|     * + o. . =o+|
|      o S   ..=o |
|       .     B   |
|          . + E  |
|           o     |
|                 |

Ensure root login is permitted on the 3 nodes by editing /etc/ssh/sshd_config as below

# Authentication:
PermitRootLogin yes

Save the file and restart the SSH service:

sudo systemctl restart sshd

Copy the keys to the 3 nodes.

ssh-copy-id root@master
ssh-copy-id root@worker1
ssh-copy-id root@worker2

Once copied, verify if you can log in to any of the nodes without a password:

 $ ssh root@worker1
Activate the web console with: systemctl enable --now cockpit.socket

Last login: Sat Aug 20 11:38:29 2022
[root@worker1 ~]# exit

Step 1 – Install the k0sctl tool on Rocky Linux 9

The k0sctl tool can be installed on the Rocky Linux 9 Workspace by downloading the file from the GitHub release page.

You can also use wget to pull the archive. First, obtain the latest version tag:

VER=$(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/k0sproject/k0sctl/releases/latest|grep tag_name | cut -d '"' -f 4)
echo $VER

Now download the latest file for your system:

### For 64-bit ###
wget https://github.com/k0sproject/k0sctl/releases/download/${VER}/k0sctl-linux-x64 -O k0sctl

###For ARM ###
wget https://github.com/k0sproject/k0sctl/releases/download/${VER}/k0sctl-linux-arm -O k0sctl

Once the file has been downloaded, make it executable and copy it to your PATH:

chmod +x k0sctl
sudo cp -r k0sctl /usr/local/bin/ /bin

Verify the installation:

$ k0sctl version
version: v0.13.2
commit: 7116025

To enable shell completions, use the commands:

### Bash ###
sudo sh -c 'k0sctl completion >/etc/bash_completion.d/k0sctl'

### Zsh ###
sudo sh -c 'k0sctl completion > /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/_k0sctl'

### Fish ###
k0sctl completion > ~/.config/fish/completions/k0sctl.fish

Step 2 – Configure the k0s Kubernetes Cluster

We will create a configuration file for the cluster. To generate the default configuration, we will use the command:

k0sctl init > k0sctl.yaml

Now modify the generated config file to work for your environment:

vim k0sctl.yaml

Update the config file as shown:

apiVersion: k0sctl.k0sproject.io/v1beta1
kind: Cluster
  name: k0s-cluster
  - ssh:
      address: master.ownyourlife.com.ng
      user: root
      port: 22
      keyPath: /home/$USER/.ssh/id_rsa
    role: controller
  - ssh:
      address: worker1.ownyourlife.com.ng
      user: root
      port: 22
      keyPath: /home/$USER/.ssh/id_rsa
    role: worker
  - ssh:
      address: worker2.ownyourlife.com.ng
      user: root
      port: 22
      keyPath: /home/$USER/.ssh/id_rsa
    role: worker
    dynamicConfig: false

We have a configuration file with 1 control plane and 2 worker nodes. It is also possible to have a single node deployment where you have a single server to act as a control plane and worker node as well:

For that case, you will a configuration file appear as shown:

apiVersion: k0sctl.k0sproject.io/v1beta1
kind: Cluster
  name: k0s-cluster
  - ssh:
      address: IP_Address
      user: root
      port: 22
      keyPath: /home/$USER/.ssh/id_rsa
    role: controller+worker
    dynamicConfig: false

Step 3 – Create the k0s Kubernetes Cluster on Rocky Linux 9 using k0sctl

Once the configuration has been made, you can start the cluster by applying the configuration file:

First, allow the service through the firewall on the control plane

sudo firewall-cmd --add-port=6443/tcp --permanent
sudo firewall-cmd --reload

Now apply the config

k0sctl apply --config k0sctl.yaml 

Sample Output:

⠀⣿⣿⡇⠀⠀⢀⣴⣾⣿⠟⠁⢸⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡿⠛⠁⠀⢸⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⠀█████████ █████████ ███
⠀⣿⣿⡇⣠⣶⣿⡿⠋⠀⠀⠀⢸⣿⡇⠀⠀⠀⣠⠀⠀⢀⣠⡆⢸⣿⣿⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀███          ███    ███
⠀⣿⣿⣿⣿⣟⠋⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⢸⣿⡇⠀⢰⣾⣿⠀⠀⣿⣿⡇⢸⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⠀███          ███    ███
⠀⣿⣿⡏⠻⣿⣷⣤⡀⠀⠀⠀⠸⠛⠁⠀⠸⠋⠁⠀⠀⣿⣿⡇⠈⠉⠉⠉⠉⠉⠉⠉⠉⢹⣿⣿⠀███          ███    ███
⠀⣿⣿⡇⠀⠀⠙⢿⣿⣦⣀⠀⠀⠀⣠⣶⣶⣶⣶⣶⣶⣿⣿⡇⢰⣶⣶⣶⣶⣶⣶⣶⣶⣾⣿⣿⠀█████████    ███    ██████████
k0sctl v0.13.2 Copyright 2021, k0sctl authors.
Anonymized telemetry of usage will be sent to the authors.
By continuing to use k0sctl you agree to these terms:
INFO ==> Running phase: Connect to hosts 
INFO [ssh] master:22: connected                   
INFO [ssh] worker1:22: connected                  
INFO [ssh] worker2:22: connected                  
INFO ==> Running phase: Detect host operating systems 
INFO [ssh] master:22: is running Rocky Linux 9.0 (Blue Onyx) 
INFO [ssh] worker1:22: is running Rocky Linux 9.0 (Blue Onyx) 
INFO [ssh] worker2:22: is running Rocky Linux 9.0 (Blue Onyx) 
INFO ==> Running phase: Acquire exclusive host lock 
INFO ==> Running phase: Prepare hosts    
INFO ==> Running phase: Gather host facts 
INFO [ssh] worker2:22: validating api connection to 
INFO [ssh] master:22: generating token            
INFO [ssh] worker1:22: writing join token         
INFO [ssh] worker2:22: writing join token         
INFO [ssh] worker1:22: installing k0s worker      
INFO [ssh] worker2:22: installing k0s worker      
INFO [ssh] worker1:22: starting service           
INFO [ssh] worker2:22: starting service           
INFO [ssh] worker1:22: waiting for node to become ready 
INFO [ssh] worker2:22: waiting for node to become ready 

Once complete, you will see this:

Install kubectl

You may need to install kubectl on the workspace to help you manage the cluster with ease.

Download the binary file and install it with the command:

curl -LO "https://storage.googleapis.com/kubernetes-release/release/$(curl -s https://storage.googleapis.com/kubernetes-release/release/stable.txt)/bin/linux/amd64/kubectl"
chmod +x kubectl
sudo mv kubectl /usr/local/bin/ /bin

Verify the installation:

$ kubectl version --client
Client Version: version.Info{Major:"1", Minor:"24", GitVersion:"v1.24.4", GitCommit:"95ee5ab382d64cfe6c28967f36b53970b8374491", GitTreeState:"clean", BuildDate:"2022-08-17T18:54:23Z", GoVersion:"go1.18.5", Compiler:"gc", Platform:"linux/amd64"}
Kustomize Version: v4.5.4

To be able to access the cluster with kubectl, you need to get the kubeconfig file and set the environment.

k0sctl kubeconfig > kubeconfig
export KUBECONFIG=$PWD/kubeconfig

Now get the nodes in the cluster:

$ kubectl get nodes
NAME                            STATUS   ROLES    AGE     VERSION
worker1.ownyourlife.com.ng   Ready    <none>   7m59s   v1.24.3+k0s
worker2.ownyourlife.com.ng   Ready    <none>   7m59s   v1.24.3+k0s

The above command will only list the worker nodes. This is because K0s ensures that the controllers and workers are isolated.

Get all the pods running:

$ kubectl get pods --all-namespaces
NAMESPACE     NAME                              READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
kube-system   coredns-88b745646-djcjh           1/1     Running   0          11m
kube-system   coredns-88b745646-v9vfn           1/1     Running   0          9m34s
kube-system   konnectivity-agent-8bm85          1/1     Running   0          9m36s
kube-system   konnectivity-agent-tsllr          1/1     Running   0          9m37s
kube-system   kube-proxy-cdvjv                  1/1     Running   0          9m37s
kube-system   kube-proxy-n6ncx                  1/1     Running   0          9m37s
kube-system   kube-router-fhm65                 1/1     Running   0          9m37s
kube-system   kube-router-v5srj                 1/1     Running   0          9m36s
kube-system   metrics-server-7d7c4887f4-gv94g   0/1     Running   0          10m

Step 4 – Advanced K0sctl File Configurations

Once a cluster has been deployed, the default configuration file for the cluster is created. To view the file, access the file, use the command below on the control plane:

# k0s default-config > /etc/k0s/k0s.yaml

The file looks as shown:

# cat /etc/k0s/k0s.yaml
# generated-by-k0sctl 2022-08-20T11:57:29+02:00
apiVersion: k0s.k0sproject.io/v1beta1
kind: ClusterConfig
  creationTimestamp: null
  name: k0s
    k0sApiPort: 9443
    port: 6443
    - fe80::e4f8:8ff:fede:e1a5
    - master
    tunneledNetworkingMode: false
  controllerManager: {}
      charts: null
      repositories: null
      create_default_storage_class: false
      type: external_storage
        image: docker.io/calico/cni
        version: v3.23.3
        image: docker.io/calico/kube-controllers
        version: v3.23.3
        image: docker.io/calico/node
        version: v3.23.3
      image: k8s.gcr.io/coredns/coredns
      version: v1.7.0
    default_pull_policy: IfNotPresent
      image: quay.io/k0sproject/apiserver-network-proxy-agent
      version: 0.0.32-k0s1
      image: k8s.gcr.io/kube-proxy
      version: v1.24.3
        image: docker.io/cloudnativelabs/kube-router
        version: v1.4.0
        image: quay.io/k0sproject/cni-node
        version: 1.1.1-k0s.0
      image: k8s.gcr.io/metrics-server/metrics-server
      version: v0.5.2
      image: quay.io/k0sproject/pushgateway-ttl
      version: edge@sha256:7031f6bf6c957e2fdb496161fe3bea0a5bde3de800deeba7b2155187196ecbd9
      etcdUser: etcd
      kineUser: kube-apiserver
      konnectivityUser: konnectivity-server
      kubeAPIserverUser: kube-apiserver
      kubeSchedulerUser: kube-scheduler
    adminPort: 8133
    agentPort: 8132
    calico: null
    clusterDomain: cluster.local
    dualStack: {}
      mode: iptables
      autoMTU: true
      mtu: 0
      peerRouterASNs: ""
      peerRouterIPs: ""
    provider: kuberouter
    defaultPolicy: 00-k0s-privileged
  scheduler: {}
      externalCluster: null
    type: etcd
    enabled: true
status: {}

You can modify the file as desired and then apply the changes made with the command:

sudo k0s install controller -c <path-to-config-file>

The file can be modified if the cluster is running. But for the changes to apply, restart the cluster with the command:

sudo k0s stop
sudo k0s start

Configure Cloud Providers

The K0s-managed Kubernetes doesn’t include the built-in cloud provider service. You need to manually configure and add its support. There are two ways of doing this:

  • Using K0s Cloud Provider

K0s provides its own lightweight cloud provider that can be used to assign static external IP to expose the worker nodes. This can be done using either of the commands:

sudo k0s worker --enable-cloud-provider=true

sudo k0s controller --enable-k0s-cloud-provider=true

After this, you can add the IPv4 and IPv6 static node IPs:

kubectl annonate node <node> k0sproject.io/node-ip-external=<external IP>
  • Using Built-in Cloud Manifest

Manifests allow one to run the cluster with preferred extensions. Normally, the controller reads the manifests from /var/lib/k0s/manifests

This can be verified from the control node:

$ ls -l /var/lib/k0s/
total 12
drwxr-xr-x.  2 root root  120 Aug 20 11:57 bin
drwx------.  3 etcd root   20 Aug 20 11:57 etcd
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root  241 Aug 20 11:57 konnectivity.conf
drwxr-xr-x. 15 root root 4096 Aug 20 11:57 manifests
drwxr-x--x.  3 root root 4096 Aug 20 11:57 pki

With this option, you need to create a manifest with the below syntax:

apiVersion: v1
kind: ServiceAccount
  name: cloud-controller-manager
  namespace: kube-system
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
  name: system:cloud-controller-manager
  apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io
  kind: ClusterRole
  name: cluster-admin
- kind: ServiceAccount
  name: cloud-controller-manager
  namespace: kube-system
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: DaemonSet
    k8s-app: cloud-controller-manager
  name: cloud-controller-manager
  namespace: kube-system
      k8s-app: cloud-controller-manager
        k8s-app: cloud-controller-manager
      serviceAccountName: cloud-controller-manager
      - name: cloud-controller-manager
        # for in-tree providers we use k8s.gcr.io/cloud-controller-manager
        # this can be replaced with any other image for out-of-tree providers
        image: k8s.gcr.io/cloud-controller-manager:v1.8.0
        - /usr/local/bin/cloud-controller-manager
        - --cloud-provider=[YOUR_CLOUD_PROVIDER]  # Add your own cloud provider here!
        - --leader-elect=true
        - --use-service-account-credentials
        # these flags will vary for every cloud provider
        - --allocate-node-cidrs=true
        - --configure-cloud-routes=true
        - --cluster-cidr=
      # this is required so CCM can bootstrap itself
      - key: node.cloudprovider.kubernetes.io/uninitialized
        value: "true"
        effect: NoSchedule
      # this is to have the daemonset runnable on master nodes
      # the taint may vary depending on your cluster setup
      - key: node-role.kubernetes.io/master
        effect: NoSchedule
      # this is to restrict CCM to only run on master nodes
      # the node selector may vary depending on your cluster setup
        node-role.kubernetes.io/master: ""

Step 5 – Deploy an Application on k0s

To test if the cluster is working as desired, we will create a deployment for the Nginx application:

The command below can be used to create and apply the manifest:

kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: nginx-deployment
      app: nginx
  replicas: 2 
        app: nginx
      - name: nginx
        image: nginx:latest
        - containerPort: 80

To verify if the pod is running, use the command:

$ kubectl get pods
NAME                                READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
nginx-deployment-544dc8b7c4-frprq   1/1     Running   0          14s
nginx-deployment-544dc8b7c4-rgdqz   1/1     Running   0          14s

Step 6 – Deploy Kubernetes Service on k0s

In order for the service to be accessed, you need to expose the deployment with a Kubernetes service. The service can be deployed as NodePort, ClusterIP, or LoadBalancer

For this guide, we will expose the application using the NodePort service:

$ kubectl expose deployment nginx-deployment --type=NodePort --port=80
service/nginx-deployment exposed

Verify if the service is running:

$ kubectl get svc
NAME               TYPE        CLUSTER-IP       EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)        AGE
kubernetes         ClusterIP        <none>        443/TCP        16m
nginx-deployment   NodePort   <none>        80:32309/TCP   8s

Now you can access the service using the node IP and port to which the service has been exposed to. For this case, the port is 32309

Allow this port through the firewall:

sudo firewall-cmd --add-port=32309/tcp --permanent
sudo firewall-cmd --reload

Now access the service on a web browser

It is also possible to deploy an Ingress service with the routing rules into the Kubernetes environment.

The below guide demonstrates how to configure Traefik Ingress on K0s

Step 7 – Destroy the k0s Kubernetes cluster

To completely remove the k0s Kubernetes cluster you can use the command below:

k0sctl reset -c k0sctl.yaml

Sample Output:

k0sctl v0.13.2 Copyright 2021, k0sctl authors.
Anonymized telemetry of usage will be sent to the authors.
By continuing to use k0sctl you agree to these terms:
? Going to reset all of the hosts, which will destroy all configuration and data, Are you sure? (y/N) y

The cluster will be removed as shown:

That is it!

There are many other k0sctlcommands, view help:

$ k0sctl help

   k0sctl - k0s cluster management tool

   k0sctl [global options] command [command options] [arguments...]

   version     Output k0sctl version
   apply       Apply a k0sctl configuration
   kubeconfig  Output the admin kubeconfig of the cluster
   init        Create a configuration template
   reset       Remove traces of k0s from all of the hosts
   backup      Take backup of existing clusters state
   config      Configuration related sub-commands
   help, h     Shows a list of commands or help for one command

   --debug, -d  Enable debug logging (default: false) [$DEBUG]
   --trace      Enable trace logging (default: false) [$TRACE]
   --no-redact  Do not hide sensitive information in the output (default: false)
   --help, -h   show help (default: false)


Today we have learned the easiest way to deploy k0s Kubernetes Cluster on Rocky Linux 9 using k0sctl. I hope this was important to you.

See more:

Install MicroK8s Kubernetes on Rocky Linux 9 / AlmaLinux 9

Build container images from Dockerfile using kaniko in Kubernetes

Deploy Kubernetes Cluster on AlmaLinux 8 with Kubeadm

Install Kubernetes Cluster on Ubuntu with kubeadm


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